Grantee Spotlight – Crisis Hotline
The Crisis Hotline
Note: as Tammy was answering Alli Frank’s questions, she was coordinating support for those affected by the Limelight Condos fire and fire evacuees from Stanley. Tammy is doing the real hard, immediate work that WRWF supports, and hopefully, that we all do, too, as individuals in the valley.
As we highlight the services of The Crisis Hotline, it is important to note that September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
How has the WRWF grant furthered the mission of The Crisis Hotline at this moment in time?
The WRWF grant has really made a difference in helping us strengthen the social and emotional health of our community as an organization and as a collaborative community partner. The Crisis Hotline can step in and provide support on-site, virtually and in an emergency because of the continued support from the WRWF. The tipping point happens from each piece of sand filling the jar and eventually, all the work we’ve collaborated on will provide a stronger, more resilient community.
With the support of the WRWF and the greater Blaine County community at large, where do you see the organization in three years?
It is our hope that the Crisis Hotline continues to serve the front lines for mental health support. This includes on the phone and in person. We also want to grow our collaborative spirit to assist other organizations that serve the community in a more holistic approach, i.e. providing 24-hour support for critical incidents or traumatic events after they have happened to alleviate strain on public services.
What is one BIG HOPE you have for the future of the Wood River Valley?
My one big hope for the future of the WRV is that we acknowledge anything is possible if we see the value in working more collaboratively to achieve what we all hope for—a healthy balanced community. Other than that, it would be for more water in our waterways so we can fish longer!
Grantees in the News:
Blaine County Charitable Fund
We salute our nonprofit Grantee Blaine County Charitable Fund (BCCF) for their impact in the community and partnership with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. BCCF has been funded by local philanthropic individuals and organizations, including Lynn Campion and Ted Waddell, Spur Foundation, Wood River Women’s Foundation, Blaine County commissioners and others. Over the last 2 years, BCCF has raised nearly $500,000 and allocated the majority of that money to about 250 households.
“We’ve already helped to secure approximately $20,000 in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP) funds for individuals that were eligible, since May,” said BCCF Executive Director Mary Fauth. “They can provide up to 15 months of rental assistance. The BCCF can provide funding for those who don’t qualify for ERAP.”
President’s Message: Sandy McCullough
Welcome to autumn! While it seems like our Annual Meeting was just last week, the foliage around the valley is clearly telling us fall has arrived and along with everything pumpkin-spiced, it is also membership renewal season.
Many of you have already renewed – thank you! Your contribution to our collective grants pool is at the center of our mission. WRWF’s funding support throughout Blaine County only happens with your participation. If you have not yet made your contribution to the 2023 Pooled Fund, please hop on to the website (here) at your convenience to either renew online or download a renewal form to mail in with your check. To see what you helped fund in our 2022 grant cycle, click (here).
I’ve been in this seat just over a month and have been so impressed by the energy and enthusiasm coming from our leadership team, members and programming:
- Our very first Field Trip! To the Ketchum Fire Department was a resounding success enjoyed by nearly 40 members;
- The Board is excited to launch the new BoardWalk series where we will get out in the valley to take walks with members;
- Our exploration into diversity has begun;
- We have a burst of new members;
- Our new board members have been onboarded and are sharing fresh, exciting ideas;
- There is a flurry of activity being scheduled to connect our grantees with members; and
- For the first time since the pandemic, we are planning to bring back the holiday event – this time with a grantee twist!
We know your inbox has seen a lot of WRWF action lately. After not being able to hold events for so long, we are thrilled to have a busy engagement calendar and to gather with each other and our nonprofit partners. Please keep an eye on the calendar and join an activity when you can – our shared giving mission is also creating shared camaraderie across WRWF events!
Thank you for your support, generosity and continued commitment to WRWF. The needs in the valley remain great and our work here matters – please be part of our impact. As always, feel free to reach out at any time or stop me at the grocery store, on the trail or at the dog park!
With WRWF gratitude,
Sandy McCullough, President
Committee Corner – Governance Committee
The WRWF Governance Committee (GC) is a standing committee of the WRWF Board of Directors. It is responsible for maintaining strong and effective leadership of the WRWF and providing oversight of the rules and policies governing the organization.
The major responsibilities of the GC include review and maintenance of the accuracy of the WRWF Bylaws and Policies, recommending changes as needed; ensuring that WRWF procedures and activities are in compliance with its Bylaws and Policies; design and assessment of board performance; and maintenance of updated committee charters for each standing and ad hoc committee.
The Governance Chair is appointed by the President of the WRWF Board and serves until her successor has been appointed. The current chair of the GC is Gail Landis. Gail has served in this role and on the WRWF Board since 2017. She has extensive board governance experience and currently serves on the governance committee of a public company as well as chairing governance for another nonprofit organization.
The Committee is currently reviewing policies that were drafted a few years ago to ensure they are still relevant and helpful to the Foundation today. Some of the policies on the docket for updates in the next few months are Conflict of Interest, Document Retention, Whistleblower, and Events — to be sure we have clear guidelines for member-hosted events, including use of our membership directory.
The GC is a strong committee that benefits from the expertise of its members. In addition to Sandy McCullough, WRWF President (serving ex officio), the Committee includes Jeannie Shroads, Marcia Liebich, Esther Ochsman, Kathy Edwards, Leslie Mitchell and Jane Conard.
The Committee welcomes new members who have interest and experience in board governance matters. Please contact Gail Landis at email@example.com or Jeannie Shroads at Jeannie.Shroads@gmail.com for further information.
Grandmothering Member-Designated Option
As part of its regular work to explore options for strengthening WRWF’s financial position, the Finance Committee presented to the Board a recommended motion to sunset the member-designation option for those who join WRWF after September 2022, while “grandmothering” the option for members who have utilized it in the past two renewal cycles.
The motion to sunset this option was approved by the Board. It applies to those who join WRWF moving forward or who have never designated an Idaho-based nonprofit in the past.
Members who have designated part of their WRWF contribution to another nonprofit in the past two years have been “grandmothered” and their ability to make a $300 designation will not be affected upon renewal.
It turns out that of the past 125 new members, only 5 have opted to re-direct part of their contribution to another organization. This is a great trend for our collective giving mission and for our grantees who can use every bit of available funding from WRWF!
If you have any questions, please email Trinka Dyer, Treasurer and Finance Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Christina Bauer (email@example.com). Thank you again for your commitment to our mission and for your participation in our pooled fund!
Grants Co-Chair Spotlight
Earlier this year, the WRWF welcomed Sarah Lurie and Linda Segre to serve as the Grants Committee Co-chairs. Both women are well-equipped to lead the Grants team through another cycle, from building the application review teams, to seeing through the distribution of grants to our local grantee organizations.
Grants Co-Chair Sarah Lurie
Sarah Lurie’s distinguished background includes her time as board president for what was formerly a struggling education-focused nonprofit that now strongly and successfully serves its community. She also calls upon her heartfelt experience of previously serving on fundraising and grants committees for an organization that financially assisted families going through a pediatric cancer diagnosis. Sarah is passionate about protecting our land, air, water, and local agriculture—all essential in the setting of the Wood River Valley, an area that relies so heavily on access to nature. She was recently voted to the WRWF Board.
Grants Co-Chair Linda Segre
Linda Segre brings a wide array of experience from the world of philanthropy, including serving on numerous nonprofit boards, consulting pro bono to nonprofits for 19 years, and working as the managing director of Google.org (Google’s hybrid philanthropy). Additionally, Linda is active on the Board of Directors for Schwab Charitable, Charles Schwab’s Donor Advised Fund that oversees over $30 billion in assets, allowing her to have valuable understanding of grantmaking at a national level.
Future Forward member Sara Lichtenberg interviewed Sarah and Linda for the WRWF News Brief:
Q: Tell me a bit about yourself, how do you like to spend your time?
Sarah: I am in the process of completing a second master’s degree in legal studies with an emphasis in sustainability law, so when not spending time being a wife, mom and horseback riding, I am probably studying. In a former life, I had a successful career as a fitness entrepreneur, including writing Kettlebells For Dummies. I consider myself a recovering entrepreneur but am a lifetime kettlebell-er!
Linda: I am a partially-retired mother of two twenty-somethings. I enjoy still being engaged in the business world through the four boards of directors of which I am a member. When I’m not in board meetings or on board calls, you can find me on the golf course, the ski mountain or hiking somewhere, mostly likely with my life partner, Robert Shepler. We also love to travel (now that we can do that again) and I love to spend time with my son and daughter who live in Portland, OR and Los Angeles, respectively.
Q: Are there any areas of giving that you feel an especially strong connection to? What issues are you passionate about?
Sarah: I think it is easy to look around the Wood River Valley and think we are only a well-to-do community. But, the fact is Blaine County is 99.7% rural, and is at its heart an agricultural community. I have a strong connection to the ag community because I own livestock. My passion issues include land, air, water, local agriculture and education. To me, all of these systems are our interconnected lifeline and deserve our attention.
Linda: I am most passionate about education. I have done a fair amount of pro bono and philanthropic work in education and my daughter was a teacher in South Central LA for five years. I have seen what a good education can do for children of all backgrounds, and believe that, as a democracy, we must make education of all of our citizens the highest priority.
Q: What initially brought you to the WRWF?
Sarah: I think I am really lucky, because my next-door neighbor is WRWF Board President Sandy McCullough!
Linda: My friend from The Valley Club, Trinka Dyer got me interested. I wanted to meet other philanthropic women and learn about the nonprofits serving our community. I have been very impressed with the work of the Foundation and have made many new friends.
Q: What is your past experience working with philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, or generally with grants (writing, making, receiving).
Sarah: I served as board president for a struggling education nonprofit – I think the “job” was given to me because no one else would do it. Being in that position was humbling and gratifying—the organization is strong today, in part, because of the hard work accomplished by our board. I also served on fundraising and grant’s committees for an organization that helped families financially when their child was diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Emotionally, that was the hardest volunteer work I have ever done.
Linda: I have a wide variety of experience including grant making, consulting to nonprofits and serving on nonprofit boards. When I was at the Boston Consulting Group, we did a lot of nonprofit pro bono work. After 19 years there, I became Managing Director at Google.org, Google’s hybrid philanthropy arm. There we award grants to nonprofits as well as investments in for-profit companies (such as renewable energy and bottom-of-pyramid private equity investments). Most of my work at Google was in East Africa and India working on government and job creation through private sector investment and support. After Google, I joined the boards of Education Outside and The First Tee, both involving investments in educating young people. About four years ago, I joined the board of directors of Schwab Charitable, Charles Schwab’s Donor Advised Fund (DAF). We oversee the roughly $30B of assets in the DAF and get a good look at grantmaking at a national level.
Q: How are you approaching your new roles with the WRWF streamlined grants process?
Sarah: I am still trying to get to know the organization, its people, culture and processes. The streamlined procedures will make our volunteer jobs more efficient and prevent burnout. I hope to use best practices and leverage technology to achieve that.
Linda: Sarah and I are still in learning mode, but I think we both want to make membership on the Grants Committee easy and also very fulfilling. We applaud the operations work that the previous Grants committee took to reduce the workload involved. They provided templates for everything to simplify processes and ensure consistent member experiences.
Q: What are you excited for as you embark upon this new role?
Sarah: WRWF is a unique organization in our community. Women may wonder, “Why join WRWF when I can give to nonprofits directly?” I think the level of engagement and birds-eye view with our local nonprofits through events like FieldTrips! is exciting, as is the networking, teamwork and comradery among the fabulous WRWF members. In addition, I am enthusiastic about my new roles working on both the grants committee and the board, especially alongside very accomplished women and a president who is supportive and cares about making sure you have what is needed to be successful. Being a WRWF member makes me realize we can do so much more for our community when we come together.
Linda: I am excited to be working with Sarah as my co-chair and our amazing Grants leadership team to provide a fun, fulfilling and successful year of grantmaking for all of our Grants Committee volunteers and our grant applicants and grantees.
Board Transition – Kathleen Eder
Outgoing Membership Chair Kathleen Eder
One bittersweet milestone from our 2022 Annual Meeting is the departure of the amazing Kathleen Eder from her Board seat as Membership Chair. We are so fond of Kathleen’s vitality and appreciative of her commitment to the WRWF. Here is our Future Forward member Rebecca Ybarra Palma’s interview with Kathleen about her time at WRWF:
1. What attracted you to joining WRWF?
It’s another “on the chairlift” story…starting 10 years ago. While riding the lift with member Gayle Stevenson, she suggested that since I was a new nonprofit executive director, I should join WRWF. She talked about the benefits of the grants given out each year to other nonprofits, the social gatherings, and the importance of networking. Gayle invited me to a membership event at someone’s home where I met several established members whom I admired. I decided then and there to join as a “Sprouting member” for my first year.
2. What inspired you to become the Membership Committee Chair?
While attending an Annual Meeting at the Valley Club I joined the Membership Committee. Dede Huish and Nancy Wasilewski were at a signup table, and I knew they were both fun women. I thought, “Why not do something that’s fun?” From there on out we called the Membership Committee the “Fun Committee”.
After serving on Membership for a couple years, I was approached by Dede to consider a Co-Membership chair position with Terri LeFaivre, who was the Committee Chair at that time. Terri and I teamed up, joined the Board, and worked together helping to grow membership. We felt it worked best to have two co-chairs with designated duties to help spread the workload. Later on Carrie Morrow joined as Co-Chair and Terri moved to work on the Impact Committee.
3. What was one of the largest hurdles that you had to overcome with membership during your tenure?
It was definitely during 2020 with the challenges of COVID. At the Apres Ski Tea in March of 2020 we had no idea that the world as we knew it was coming to a complete halt. We did not want members to feel that WRWF was not appreciative of their membership and felt it was important to keep members involved by creating some unique experiences.
We had a gathering outdoors at the Draper Preserve in Hailey in June of 2020. Members were asked to bring their own lawn chairs
and space out on the lawn while enjoying individual bags of popcorn and listening to Wood River Land Trust Development Director Courtney Jelaco—also a WRWF member—talk about future plans for the area. Courtney also led three field trips through the Colorado Gulch Preserve in September of 2020.
Membership may have tapered off during 2020 and 2021, but we are resilient and have grown back up to around 350 women!
4. What has been the most rewarding outcome for you?
Meeting new members and watching them grow and evolve within WRWF has been so rewarding! We have so many talented, exciting, and wonderful women in this organization. Every time we conduct a New Member Zoom Orientation, everyone—Board directors and new members alike—are amazed at the interests and experience each new member brings to WRWF. Women contribute such energy and passion to help our growing community. I find that the most gratifying reward of all.
5. What is your hope for Membership as it evolves?
I think Membership needs a reboot and some fresh ideas. I am excited that our Future Forward program is going strong and some of our younger members are volunteering to take on leadership positions. Women are social beings and the process of getting together through different outlets—be they social, educational or a combination of both—is of the utmost importance.
Other parts of our organization‘s committees have stepped up to involve members. The Grants Committee has been active in getting members out to visit our nonprofit partners. Field Trips are planned to sites so we can see how our dollars are working. The Education Committee has staged the State of the Valley Forums. The event at the Alliance/Hunger Coalition this summer was a great success!
The more members stay involved and connected the more successful we will be in growing membership. We have always felt as a Membership Committee that we don’t want to insist members “do something” within the organization, as some women are gratified by just making an annual contribution. I encourage us to appreciate everyone for being a part of WRWF, however they choose, and know that they are making a difference!
Focus Grant 2022 – WRELC New Project Director
WRWF Focus Grant team and grantee Idaho AEYC are delighted to share that Kathryn Ivers has joined as the new project director of the recently-formed Wood River Early Learning Collaborative (WRELC).
Kathryn has a broad and unique background combining community psychology, human rights advocacy, nonprofit leadership, and a passion for improving the lives of children and their families.
When asked what inspired her to take the role as WRELC Project Director, Kathryn replied, “A significant number of children in the Wood River Valley do not have the basic skill sets to be successful when entering Kindergarten. This issue affects all of us, not just our youngest community members and their families. I believe that working together we can achieve Kindergarten Readiness for all through various proven and innovative approaches. The Early Learning Collaborative is an exciting opportunity to create impactful and lasting systematic change that will improve so many lives and the community as a whole.”
In her early career, Kathryn conducted a needs assessment for street youth in Portland, Oregon, worked for an NGO promoting human rights in Geneva, Switzerland, and persuaded various organizations to provide basic services for street children in Brazil.
After law school, she served on a team to reform the child welfare system of NYC, provided social services to families in crisis at Brooklyn Legal Services, and helped start mediation programs for children at risk.
Since moving to the Wood River Valley full-time in 2006, she has been engaged in nonprofit work and promoting opportunities for children and families in various education-related settings.
Kathryn holds a BA in Psychology and International Affairs from Lewis & Clark College and an MA in International Affairs and JD from Columbia University.
- Sept 29 First ever BoardWalk at Lake Creek Trailhead 4:00 pm
- Oct 6 First ever WRWF Nine & Wine at Elkhorn Golf Club 3:00 pm
- Oct 11 Field Trip! at The Nature Conservancy new Silver Creek Preserve Education Center 4:00 – 6:00 pm
- Nov 17 New Member Orientation via Zoom 4:00 – 5:15pm
Ketchum Fire Department
On 8/31 Sally Halstead led the first official Grantee Field Trip! to the Ketchum Fire Department (KFD).
Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin gave nearly 40 WRWF members a tour of the facility and an up-close look at the new all-terrain backcountry rescue vehicle funded in part by our $20,000 grant.
KFD’s jurisdiction encompasses all of the north valley, and 690 square miles of BLM and Forest Service lands. To serve this wide coverage area, the new backcountry rescue vehicle is equipped to go off-road on dirt, and with the addition of snow tracks, it will be fully functional year round.
SOTV Health Forum
WRWF hosted the State of the Valley Health Forum on 9/14 at The Community Library in Ketchum with a full house of attendees and online participants. The SOTV forums are educational community events to increase awareness about current issues that we are facing in our valley. This Health Forum was no exception! When the Education Committee was planning this past February’s main SOTV event and deciding what sectors to represent, we knew that healthcare needed its own forum, or it would overshadow the other topics.
Tom Archie, MD moderated the diversified health panel, which represented mental health, underserved residents, the elderly, and St. Luke’s. The discussions focused on challenges surrounding extraordinary growth, increased stress on families and individuals, our aging community, and ramifications of the pandemic.
Alisa Barnes, PA-C represented Family Health Services, whose broad selection of offerings include pediatrics, women’s health, family medicine, and dental. Health Services also assists a large section of our community that is uninsured or who seek health care using their sliding fee scale.
Almita Nunnelee, RN, BSN is the new COO/CNO for St. Luke’s Wood River. She brought a fresh insight to large establishment medicine and talked about how unique the hospital is for a community our size and the variety of services and specialties they offer. She discussed how their organization has been working to overcome problems such as housing shortages and increasing wages to be more aligned with the cost of living.
Jovita Piña is the new Executive Director for The Senior Connection, which has unique insight for our aging community and the mental health issues surrounding isolation for many elderly residents. Their Meals on Wheels, home care, and the newly launched vision and hearing screening services are just some of the ways The Senior Connection provides services that go beyond the traditional senior center.
Laurie Strand, LCSW of Resiliency Rising offered answers and insights as to what challenges the mental health clinicians are facing and ways our community is trying to lower the stigma that is often associated with seeking out care for mental health. Although the pandemic made a dent in that stigma, it is still a problem that needs to be addressed. She noted that the largest increase of patient’s seems to be first time patients and the greatest need for clinicians in the mental health field are those who are Spanish speaking.
Dr. Archie provided growth statistics as well as his unique perspective on most all the topics since he was on staff at St. Luke’s before opening InnerHealth MD independent practice in 2016. InnerHealth MD encompasses family health, acupuncture, and functional medicine. He remains integral to the community information gathering with his ongoing newsletters and the creation of the COVID Outreach Wood River.
The Health Forum certainly raised the awareness of issues facing healthcare in our valley and created an engaging conversation that we hope continues. We are grateful to all the members of the panel and our Education Committee for bringing about this successful event.
We would like to reiterate our thanks to the Health Forum underwriters Graybird Foundation, Hazlett Wealth Management, Sun Valley Ketamine Clinic, Summer Baldwin Sun Valley Real Estate, Jeanne Cassell, LeeAnne Linderman, and Susan Passovoy. And thank you to Karen Bossick for this link to Eye on Sun Valley coverage.
A recording of the event can be found at: https://vimeo.com/event/2315753
“Gateway to Summer”
It was a huge success, kicking off the beginning of summer and an occasion for WRWF members to have loads of fun, reconnect with their friends, and bring guests to enjoy the event without any expectation of a commitment.
What makes this summer’s mixer unique is the fabulous venue – Aroma. This new Ketchum restaurant has everything it takes to succeed: mountain charm and high quality, delicious food. We want to extend a warm thank you to Aroma and to all the WRWF women who organized and participated in this awesome event.
The Board of Directors is excited to introduce “BoardWalk,” a new initiative offering opportunities for WRWF members and leadership to engage in informal conversation while enjoying our beautiful valley. Throughout the year, the Board will invite all members to join up for walks (short, not hard, dogs welcome!) to share information from the Board table and talk about what is on members’ minds.
Please join us for our inaugural BoardWalk
When: 4pm, Thursday, September 29
Where: Lake Creek Trailhead
No RSVP necessary
(We’ll meet up in the parking lot and head over the bridge.)
Our second BoardWalk will likely be a snowshoe outing in January, followed by a wildflower walk in May. We look forward to taking a walk with you!
With WRWF gratitude,
Your Board of Directors
We are delighted to extend a warm WRWF welcome new members who joined this month!
New WRWF members are invited to provide photos and a bit of information about themselves to share in the News Brief. We have so many interesting members and it is fun to read about everyone’s background. Thanks so much and we look forward to meeting you soon.
Member News – Giving Back – Rebecca Ybarra Palma
Giving Back: WRWF Social Media Specialist and Future Forward member Rebecca Ybarra Palma shares how her not-for-profit Full Circle Organization Gives Back to Local Communities.
Full Circle Organization, a San Francisco Bay Area community outreach group, advocates and amplifies national and global awareness through local-level service and drives. On a monthly basis, Full Circle conducts food, toy, clothes, or recycling drives at various sponsored locations across the Bay Area.
I was inspired to create Full Circle because our world has a deep need for preservation and sustainability. When I see a need that can benefit from the collective strengths and talents of my Full Circle peers, my values urge me to proactively step into action. Actions are what I have always respected most within others and within myself.
Pursuing philanthropy is so fulfilling personally. This is especially true when our members unite and are given the space to uniquely connect and generate impact. Giving back is also rewarding externally, particularly when directly serving Bay Area communities and furthering our reach in many special ways.
As we grow in number, Full Circle prioritizes team unity, support, empowerment, and the creative freedom to make big changes through just a little collaboration. We feel blessed to use our resources to improve the community and create small wins, like organizing food drives and recycling campaigns. Members say that the team bonding following every monthly community service activity provides a safe space and social support in ways they hadn’t experienced before.
As one of the largest collective giving circles made up of women from different work and social backgrounds, WRWF brings us together for the common purpose of doing good. I am motivated by the combined time, treasure, and talent of the WRWF members, which stretches across many activities and committees. The opportunity to work on WRWF through Graybird Foundation has motivated me and opened my eyes to what I can aspire to when growing Full Circle. Experiencing firsthand how WRWF works allows me to see the endless possibilities that each Full Circle member can offer from their own unique and creative styles of giving.
A lot of my work for WRWF is directly transferable to Full Circle, since my skills as a Social Media and Marketing Specialist are applied to both entities. I love being able to showcase important topics and achievements through authoring content and sharing photos to enhance philanthropic visibility across multiple channels. I feel especially compelled to do so by promoting inclusion and diversity. Being part of WRWF has increased my confidence in leadership to better serve alongside the team of women at Full Circle.
To learn more, you can reach Rebecca Palma Ybarra at:
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We are grateful for our sponsors and extend a hearty WRWF thank you to Graybird Foundation, Little Caesars and Zions Bank!
Thank you, Contributors!
Thank you to this month’s News Brief contributors:
Christina Bauer, Alli Frank, Carol Hoffman, Anne Jeffery, Gail Landis, Sandy McCullough, Laura Midgley, Sara Lichtenberg, Rebecca Ybarra Palma, Karissa Price Rico, Jenni Riley, Sarah Shepard, Renee Spooner, Peggy Walker Thompkins